Although people are at the heart of any business, ideas are very often a central part of its value. These ideas, collectively known as Intellectual Property, can and should, be protected in the same way that other aspects of the business are protected.
Intellectual Property can take many forms - for example,
- a brand name
Many businesses do not realise the value of their intellectual property and many more do not take any steps to protect it from unfair use by rivals. Still others consider that if any idea is in the public domain they are entitled to copy it and thereby infringe the intellectual property rights of others and become exposed to claims.
Protection of intellectual property should be a priority for the owners of any business. The legal rules relating to Intellectual Property can be complicated. We can assist you at all stages of the process of identifying and protecting these rights; including statutory rights of:
- Design right
- Database rights
Furthermore, even if there is not a statutory right of this nature, there may be ways to use the law to protect ideas through the rules relating to:
- Confidential information
- Know how
- Trade secrets
- Passing off
Some rights can be acquired without any positive step being undertaken. For example, acquiring the copyright in the literary work can be acquired on simply proving authorship. Other rights, such as acquiring a trademark, are dependent upon registration or active steps being taken.
It is sometimes difficult to understand whether all information in the public domain may be reused and, if so the limits of such use. We can advise you at all stages when dealing with your own intellectual property rights or claims that you have infringed the rights of others. We can advise you in relation to the protection of your rights whether they be in context of preparing agreements relating to:
- Licensing & franchising
- Research & development
As importantly, if a business owner is drawn to a dispute or potential dispute regarding ownership or infringement of intellectual property rights we can advise and assist you in relation to all types of dispute, whether in the
- County court
- Intellectual Property & enterprise court; or
- High court